nep-pay New Economics Papers
on Payment Systems and Financial Technology
Issue of 2016‒11‒06
ten papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Japanese photo shop industry and its adaptive process toward digitization By KODAMA, Koichiro
  2. Weak Signals on the Future of Mobile Commerce in Russia By Ozcan Saritas; Leonid Gokhberg; Pavel Bakhtin; Ilya F. Kuzminov
  3. Diversity and Inclusion without Excuses, Newark, New Jersey, October 19, 2016 By Williams, John C.
  4. Data as a common in the sharing economy: a general policy proposal By Bruno Carballa
  6. Racial and Gender Discrimination in Transportation Network Companies By Yanbo Ge; Christopher R. Knittel; Don MacKenzie; Stephen Zoepf
  7. Encuesta Financiera de los Hogares Uruguayos (EFHU-2): Descripción y Resultados By Zuleika Ferre; José Ignacio Rivero; Graciela Sanroman; Guillermo Santos
  8. Tax Credits and the Debt Position of U.S. Households By McGranahan, Leslie
  9. Women's voices: The journey towards cyberfeminism in Iran By Shojaee, M.
  10. Retail Prices in a City By Eizenberg, Alon; Lach, Saul; Yiftach, Merav

  1. By: KODAMA, Koichiro
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to determine how photo shop industry in Japan continue to exist despite the digitization of photography. In this paper, we focus the problem why digital mini-labs were diffused faster than DSCs, despite following three obstructive factors: the enormity of investment; uncertainty regarding the digitization of photography; conservativeness of the photo shop industry. We find following mechanism from case analysis: in contrast to other photo shops, Kitamura especially recognized the digitization of photography as an urgent and crucial problem, and decided to introduce digital mini-labs into all of its photo shops; Kitamura’s entrepreneurial action triggered its rivals to follow suit; digital mini-labs became the standard solution for the problem of digitization for the entire photo shop industry; the emergence of standard solution changed the perspectives of other photo shops that were unaware of the threat.
    Date: 2016–10
  2. By: Ozcan Saritas (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Leonid Gokhberg (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel Bakhtin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Ilya F. Kuzminov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In parallel to the developments in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), mobile commerce (m-commerce) has become a large business and technology area with ever-growing market potentials. Comparable to the rest of the world, the m-commerce sector has been developing rapidly in Russia, which provides opportunities for domestic and international enterprises. There are a number of favorable conditions, such as major advancements in the software and smart devices industries, availability of a skilled workforce with a good educational base, a technology-prone society, and increasing public and corporate investments, which reinforce the development of m-commerce. The present study aims to explore the future trends and developments in the m-commerce sector, by focusing on the Weak Signals of emerging future developments in society, technology, economy, environment and policy. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques, the study reviews the evolution of the m-commerce in the world and in Russia, and then presents a set of 10 Weak Signals, which were generated using technology mining, patent analysis, literature review, interviews and consultations through expert workshops. The paper discusses future opportunities and threats concerning m-commerce along with critical technologies for Russia for the full exploitation of the potentials in the sector
    Keywords: Mobile commerce, Information and Communication Technologies, Weak Signals, Foresight, Russi
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Williams, John C. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
    Abstract: Presentation at the Conference on “Improving Diversity in the Financial Services Industry: A Holistic View”, Rutgers University, Newark Campus, Newark, New Jersey, for delivery on October 19, 2016
    Date: 2016–10–19
  4. By: Bruno Carballa (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))
    Abstract: It is nowadays a common place to say that the sharing economy is not really about sharing but about making profits and benefiting a few much more than others. A movement that takes the best of the technologies of sharing economy platforms but orients it to benefiting all, platform cooperativism, is on the rise. Nonetheless, it is far from being popular and nothing indicates that it will. This paper investigates the reasons why dominant platforms remain dominant and proposes a policy that aims at curtailing their dominance, fostering platform cooperativism and maximizing the beneficial societal effects that can be derived from exploiting the data generated in platforms. The paper is structured as follows. Section 1 reviews current definitions of the sharing economy, points out their contributions and limitations and offers a novel and more accurate definition. Section 2 briefly introduces platform cooperativism to show why it can be a tool to fix many of the problems of the sharing economy. Section 3 explains and discusses market power mechanisms specific to the sharing economy that help dominant platforms to remain dominant. Some already existing and proposed solutions to counter these market power mechanisms such as reputation passports, a market for personal data and antitrust remedies are evaluated. Section 4 presents a general policy proposal based on making data a common in the sharing economy using reciprocity licenses. Section 5 offers some clarifications regarding the proposal and sketches some of its shortcomings and open questions that arise from it.
    Keywords: sharing economy, platform cooperativism, data, commons, market power, reciprocity licenses
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: Damien BROUSSOLLE (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg)
    Abstract: The first section analyses European Union legal texts on the goods-services distinction. They view the former as tangible entities, while the latter covers all intangible ones. The writing of the key article on services in the EU main Treaty may also be confusing. The second section explains the new approach of the service that the economic analysis has developed, especially relevant in the context of the knowledge economy. The third section shows that the Single Market Digital Strategy of the European Commission faces difficulties caused by the outdated service definition it uses. The problems affect the VAT rate applicable to intangible goods, regarded as services (e.g. e-books vs. tangible books), and the Directives or Communications handling the provision of Digital Content. This concept, coined among other things to bypass the outdated definition, induces a contorted law treatment of intangible goods and, at least, undue contractual idiosyncrasies. Adopting the new economic approach of the serv ce would solve the problems underlined and help fostering the digital economy.
    JEL: L80 L86 K20 O34
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Yanbo Ge; Christopher R. Knittel; Don MacKenzie; Stephen Zoepf
    Abstract: Passengers have faced a history of discrimination in transportation systems. Peer transportation companies such as Uber and Lyft present the opportunity to rectify long-standing discrimination or worsen it. We sent passengers in Seattle, WA and Boston, MA to hail nearly 1,500 rides on controlled routes and recorded key performance metrics. Results indicated a pattern of discrimination, which we observed in Seattle through longer waiting times for African American passengers—as much as a 35 percent increase. In Boston, we observed discrimination by Uber drivers via more frequent cancellations against passengers when they used African American-sounding names. Across all trips, the cancellation rate for African American sounding names was more than twice as frequent compared to white sounding names. Male passengers requesting a ride in low-density areas were more than three times as likely to have their trip canceled when they used a African American-sounding name than when they used a white-sounding name. We also find evidence that drivers took female passengers for longer, more expensive, rides in Boston. We observe that removing names from trip booking may alleviate the immediate problem but could introduce other pathways for unequal treatment of passengers.
    JEL: J15 J16 R4
    Date: 2016–10
  7. By: Zuleika Ferre (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); José Ignacio Rivero (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Graciela Sanroman (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República y Consultora CEPAL); Guillermo Santos (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: En este documento presentamos una breve reseña metodológica de la Encuesta Financiera de los Hogares Uruguayos (EFHU-2). Se describe el cuestionario utilizado, el diseño muestral y el tratamiento de los datos faltantes. Al mismo tiempo, se informan los principales resultados de la EFHU-2 sobre la tenencia y el valor de activos y pasivos, el uso de medios de pago y algunos indicadores de distribución de la riqueza neta de las familias uruguayas.
    Keywords: información a nivel de hogares, activos, pasivos, riqueza, presión financiera, medios de pago, inclusión financiera
    JEL: D14 D31 C42 G21 G23
    Date: 2016–09
  8. By: McGranahan, Leslie (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of tax credit receipt on the outstanding indebtedness of households. In particular, we use data on zip code level indebtedness to explore whether debt levels and past due amounts change more dramatically during tax refund season in those zip codes where households receive greater Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refunds. We see a substantial decline in debt past due in high tax credit zip codes during tax refund season indicating that some recipient households use tax refunds to repair their balance sheets. At the same time, we see increases in both auto and credit card debt during tax refund season showing a link between tax refunds and asset accumulation and consumption.
    Keywords: Debt; household; Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); tax policy
    JEL: D1 H20 H60
    Date: 2016–10–26
  9. By: Shojaee, M.
    Abstract: The working paper looks at the history of Iranian media by and for women, culminating in cyberfeminism. The main focus are women's websites and cyber campaigns dedicated to improving women's rights, and how they helped to mobilize Iranian women's movements. There are two main case studies: The main case study on websites is the "Feminist School" as an important site for feminist discourse and women's movements managed from inside Iran. The main case study in relation to cyber campaigns is the "My stealthy freedom" campaign which is undertaken from outside Iran. Through these two case studies, the paper aims to answer the following questions: To what extent and how do these sites provide strategic opportunities for the Iranian women's movement to advocating gender equality and women's rights? And did the cyber campaign help to build coalitions between women's movements inside Iran and diaspora activism outside of Iran? The case studies are based on the author’s earlier work on the history of the women' movement, interviews with leaders and directors of women's websites and directors of mobilizing cyber campaigns along with self-reflective and discourse analysis of the websites and campaigns. A biography of the author can be found here: ( /writers-in-exile/ehemalige-stipendiaten /mansoureh-shojaee/)
    Keywords: cyberfeminism, clicktivism, women's movement, Iran, social media
    Date: 2016–10–18
  10. By: Eizenberg, Alon; Lach, Saul; Yiftach, Merav
    Abstract: We study grocery price differentials across neighborhoods in a large metropolitan area (the city of Jerusalem, Israel). Prices in commercial areas are persistently lower than in residential neighborhoods. We also observe substantial price variation within residential neighborhoods: retailers that operate in peripheral, non-affluent neighborhoods charge some of the highest prices in the city. Using CPI data on prices and neighborhood-level credit card data on expenditure patterns, we estimate a model in which households choose where to shop and how many units of a composite good to purchase. The data and the estimates are consistent with very strong spatial segmentation. Combined with a pricing equation, the demand estimates are used to simulate interventions aimed at reducing the cost of grocery shopping. We calculate the impact on the prices charged in each neighborhood and on the expected price paid by its residents - a weighted average of the prices paid at each destination, with the weights being the probabilities of shopping at each destination. Focusing on prices alone provides an incomplete picture and may even be misleading. Specifically, we find that interventions that make the commercial areas more attractive and accessible yield only minor price reductions, yet expected prices decrease in a pronounced fashion. The benefits are particularly strong for residents of the peripheral, non-affluent neighborhoods.
    Keywords: consumer mobility; Retail prices; spatial segmentation
    JEL: L10 L11 L13
    Date: 2016–10

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